Jazz, comedy, country and dance on tap in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Jazz, comedy, country and dance on tap in Beaver Creek

Kris Sabel
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Steven Schreiber


Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

There are so many exciting programs to choose from over the next nine days at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Below, I hope to give you a quick preview of each and then focus on a very special treat: the Lar Lubovitch Dance Co.’s 40th anniversary tour. We are so fortunate to have such a wide variety of incredible artists performing in our community, and I hope you join us for all of them!

On Friday a special concert by the Blue Note 7 marks the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records, the premier label in jazz. The group will explore classic tunes by Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and many others. Pianist Bill Charlap serves as musical director for the group, which includes some of today’s strongest players including guitarist Peter Bernstein, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, drummer Lewis Nash, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, bassist Peter Washington and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson.

On Saturday, NBC’s Last Comic Standing Tour features the winner and top four finalists from the 2008 season of the Emmy-nominated TV show. This show is currently sold out, but call the box office to be added to the waiting list.

On Monday, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra helps us celebrate Martin Luther King Day with an evening of Cajun music. Under the direction of jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, the next musician to embody and represent the great New Orleans legacy, the orchestra offers impeccable music and tangible heart. Performing the works of masters Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus and many more, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra celebrates the heritage of this uniquely American music and its birthplace.

American country-pop singer-songwriter LeAnn Rimes takes the stage on Wednesday. Rimes holds three important distinctions in the music industry: the youngest person to win a Grammy, the first country artist to win a Grammy as best new artist and record-holder for her song “How do I Live,” the longest charting song on the U.S. Hot 100 at 69 weeks. There are only a few tickets left for this concert, so call the box office now.

America’s favorite musical family, The 5 Browns, performs at the Vilar on Jan. 24. These five siblings all studied piano together at the famed Julliard School. They are bringing five grand pianos to fill the Vilar with music. They share their love and knowledge of the piano with local music students at a special open rehearsal beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 24, followed by their full performance at 6:30 p.m. If you have a child or student interested in piano, please contact Heather Florio to reserve space at the open rehearsal at hflorio@vvf.org.

The show I want to focus on today is the 40th anniversary tour of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Co. on Tuesday.

One of America’s most versatile, popular and highly acclaimed choreographers, Lar Lubovitch has choreographed more than 100 dances for his New York-based company.

While you may not be familiar with his name, it is likely that you have witnessed his choreography. Works created by him are performed by many esteemed companies throughout the world, including the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project and Netherlands Dance Theater.

On Broadway he has choreographed or created the musical staging for “Into the Woods,” “The Red Shoes,” “The King and I” and most recently for the Disney Stage version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

In addition to his work for stage, screen and television, Lubovitch has also made a significant contribution to the advancement of choreography in the field of ice-dancing. He has created dances for Olympic gold medalists John Curry, Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill, and has choreographed a full-length ice-dancing version of “The Sleeping Beauty,” starring Olympic medalists Robin Cousins and Rosalynn Sumners.

Lar Lubovitch has been hailed by The New York Times as “one of the 10 best choreographers in the world,” and the company has been called a “national treasure” by Variety. The company’s last U.S. tour was in 1995, so I hope you can join us for this rare opportunity to see the company in our community.

I look forward to seeing you at the theatre.

Support Local Journalism